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We are at an interesting place in the life cycles of a number of traditional integrated housing systems in the UK and Irish marketplace. From a choice of just about nine options, not all covering the full spectrum of a few hundred to a few hundred units either, many are at somewhat of an impasse.
Some are now and feel very, very old and long in the tooth, using some old or unpopular technology (Silverlight, VB6 etc) or pretty much declared (officially or unofficially) end-of-life already.
Its no wonder that MS Dynamics CRM resellers, are seeing some potential rich pickings, based on offerings available and/or the perceived or actual level of customer care received, from existing or previous suppliers.
Some existing suppliers are working hard to redevelop their solutions, particularly into an improved, or new browser presentation. Having past experience of a rewrite that was originally estimated at 18 months and took over for years eventually, I am aware of the rampant unreliability of developer estimates. Even worse if those estimates and targets are driven by sales.
Blimey I am forever railing against people giving me wild estimates. I must sound like a stuck record. Are these staff inexperienced, short-sighted, or unable to bother taking previous projects and learn the lessons from what worked well and less well there?
Clearly for building new software, the cost of development in the UK and the variable skill-set, attitude, motivation of developers etc, can limit how fast new products can be brought to market. Have too small a pool or ones with limited skills, maybe losing two or three particularly talented staff, can all put a break on rapid transformation of products.
The clear shortcut to accelerating development and product production is off-shoring.
Interesting to read this month that Castleton are the latest to explore enhancing their operation with India offices, Bangalore in the south and Baroda in the north. There’s potential here for some accelerated development, although from my previous experience, off-shore teams need careful management.
|Mukesh Patel, Sushil Tasgaonkar, Dean Dickinson, Ian Niblock|
The key managers in India have worked with CEO Dean Dickinson before, in his previous life at Advanced/COA, so hopefully Castleton customers may be experiencing the benefits of the new additions soon, without excessive supervision. My contacts in the know tell me that direct off-shore salaries can be up to a seventh of equivalent UK salaries, for effective development.
16 staff are mentioned, compared with other suppliers known to me doing this, that sounds like a very low number. At least doubling or trebling that, might well provide more bang for the buck, also allowing some true leap-frogging here from Castleton. Just a thought, it would be great to see suppliers stepping up.
Read more from the news release here
Related Post: Ask yourself, where has all my quality time gone?
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The Cult – Indian.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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